The Holistic Librarian – Thing 17

Hi, I’m Aeronwen Cole and I am the Subject Librarian for Archaeology, Classics & Ancient History, History and Modern Languages.

Task 17 was to document “What types of information does the Data Protection Act cover? In which ways should this data be treated differently from non-sensitive data?”

What I knew about the topic beforehand:

I knew the Act covered personal data relating to living individuals.

What I know now:

The Act covers personal information about living individuals in both electronic form and manual form (e.g. paper files) when the information is held in a relevant, structured filing system.

Data covered by the Data Protection Act should not be shared with other researchers unless informed consent has been obtained by the relevant parties. It may also not be possible to make this data available via open access unless it is anonymised.

How did I obtain this knowledge?:

I looked at the University of Exeter Data Protection web pages. I attended a session on data protection during Open Access week given by Caroline Dominey (the University’s Records Manager) where this topic was discussed.

What else would I like to know about this topic:

I haven’t had to deal with enquiries of this nature in my work yet but potentially it’s something I’ll need to learn more about if I receive specific enquiries.

How did I find this task? How would I improve it?

I found the second part of the question ambiguous.

Posted under Holistic Librarian, Training

This post was written by A.G.Cole on December 17, 2012

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